Wesley Procop

Company G, 5th Illinois Volunteer Cavalry

WESLEY PROCOP emigrated from Baden Austria to the United States in 1856, when he was about age 17, as he was born October 1839. The 1900 Arkansas County, Arkansas census record indicates that he was a naturalized citizen and had been in the U.S. 44 years. The original spelling of his name is believed to be Procop and was pronounced PRO-cup.

He was living with his brother Joseph at or near Dawson, just east of Springfield, Illinois, when the 1860 census was taken. This was only four years after Wesley emigrated to the U. S. and he may have come after Joseph had already settled. (The 1860 census shows a household comprised of: Joseph BOCOP, age 29; Barbara, age 25 (born in Ohio); 1-year old J. W.; and, 21-year old Wesley.) Joseph and Wesley were farmers in Clear Lake Township of Sangamon County, according to the 1870 census, which shows Joseph's son as Wesley, then age 11. So, it seems that the "J. W." of 1860 may have been named Joseph Wesley! Wesley was not listed in Joseph's 1870 household and the family name was spelled as BROCOP. In 1880, Wesley Procop lived in South Fork Township, Christian County, Illinois, with wife Mary F., sons George and Charles, and daughter Mary.

Wesley was mustered into the U.S. Army 5th Cavalry, Illinois Volunteers, on November 8, 1861. The Company "G" Muster and Descriptive Roll listed him (spelled PROCUP) as: age 22, height 5'10", with black hair and blue eyes. He was single, a farmer, a native of Baden (Austria), and a resident of Dawson, Sangamon County. Civil War records at the Vicksburg National Military Park include his name and unit, and there is a monument there recognizing the 5th Illinois Cavalry. Also, the itinerary, duties and campaigns of the unit are reported in the records. Wesley re-enlisted when his three-year enlistment endedand served until his unit mustered out on October 30, 1865. His service record is in the PROCOP name and on June 1, 1880, he applied (from Arkansas) for a pension and the form was given Application No. 384396 and Certificate No. 273640.

After the Civil War, Wesley returned to farming in Illinois and married Mary Frances McIntire. She was born November 1846 in Missouri (where her parents were also born, per the 1900 census) but no more has yet been learned about her family. Their three children were born in Illinois: George Edwin in 1870, Mary in 1875, and Charles Wesley in 1878. The family moved, probably in 1880, to farm in the Stuttgart, Arkansas area...more particularly, at Almyra. Arkansas County deed records show that Wesley bought 100 acres of land on Dec 13 1884: the E 1/2 of SE 1/4, & E 1/2 of NW 1/4 of SE 1/4, Sec 1 Twp 3S Range 4W for $368. He and Mary Frances sold the property on Mar 28 1889. Later, on Sep 18 1899, they bought a 160 acre tract: S 1/2 of S 1/2 Sec 18 Twp 2S Range 4W for $200. That deed for 160 acres was to Wesley and his wife Mary F. It is believed that he grew and marketed cut-flowers after he quit crop-farming. Wesley died on December 24, 1912. He and Frances are buried in the Procop family plot (Lone Tree Cemetery Cemetery Lot 36, Block 8, AD 1) at Stuttgart.

Although he was a US Army veteran of the Civil War, Wesley's grave remained unmarked until 1995...when a monument was provided by the US Veterans Administration after an application for it was made by his great-grandson Clarence Procop.

Reports about the Civil War activity of Wesley's cavalry unit tells that it was in southeastern Missouri, then in northeast and eastern Arkansas until June 1863. In March 1862, it had moved south to Pocahontas, and from there, to Jacksonport (near present Newport), and it reached Helena on July 13, 1862. Reportedly, only Companies A, B, C and D were mounted companies in Wesley's unit. In 1863, the 5th Illinois went in January to DeValls Bluff on the White River and in April pursued General Marmaduke in his retreat from Missouri.

The group landed on June 1st, 1863, at Snyder's Bluff at Vicksburg and served in many areas of Mississippi. The unit went to Memphis, southern Arkansas and northern Louisiana. On July 1 1865 the unit went to Texas, via Alexandra and the Red River. It marched to Hemp-stead, Texas, in August 26th and remained there until October 6th when it was ordered home to Springfield, where it was mustered out on the 27th and disbanded October 30, 1865.

This article prepared by Clarence Davis Procop, one of Wesley's grandchildren, who may be reached at:

CLARENCE PROCOP
206 Springwood Drive
Little Rock, Arkansas 72211
or E-mail to: [email protected]

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